The pace of innovation in the modern data center is increasing rapidly. New applications, frameworks and deployment models are driving the need for a more agile, scalable infrastructure. But how quickly can the underlying infrastructure itself evolve?

 

It’s one thing to make a one-time shift from a legacy disk storage platform to a next generation all-flash array, but how do you continue to deliver innovation over three to five years once that platform is deployed?

 

With software-based storage platforms like SolidFire, new functionality and capabilities can be developed rapidly. The bottleneck is now in the testing, certification and reliable delivery of software updates. A Windows patch that reboots your desktop is a pain; a storage update that reboots your data center (or worse, destroys all your data) is a complete nightmare.

 

Consistency Group Snapshots with SolidFire
Nitrogen introduces significant new functionality including multi-tenant networking and consistency groups, and a series of usability features that deliver industry-leading flexibility for consolidating a broad mix of application workloads.

So, how do you deliver a continuing stream of innovation, while reducing the risk for customers?

 

At SolidFire, it starts with our maniacal focus on at-scale automated testing. Our lab hosts over a thousand systems with clusters scaling from four nodes to 100. Every internal build of the software is run through over 11,000 individual tests multiple times daily, with testing running continuously 24/7. By the time we ship a new software release, it has undergone hundreds of thousands of tests using both synthetic and real-world workloads under both sunny and rainy day scenarios. Once we have a fully validated release, our proven non-disruptive update process allows customers to deploy it in a simple, safe and fully automated fashion (no on-site personnel required).

 

We’ve proven our testing and non-disruptive upgrade capabilities over seven major releases, and it’s time to set a new bar for delivering innovation.

 

The norm in the storage industry is “big bang” releases that contain a year or more of development in a single release. The complexity and risk of storage upgrades has forced vendors into this model, but giant releases carry with them significant risk in and of themselves. We believe that there is a better model, delivering a regular cadence of releases rather than big-bangs, and today we are proving it with the delivery of the 7th generation of the Element Operating System, Nitrogen, which comes only six months after the SolidFire Carbon release.

VLAN tagging with SolidFire storage
Administrators can segment individual tenants or applications on their own VLAN-based networks for security, auditing and compliance reasons, with no impact to system performance or scalability.

 

The Nitrogen release brings two major new capabilities to the system: Multi-Tenant Networking and Consistency Group Snapshots.

 

Multi-Tenant Networking allows administrators to segment individual tenants or applications on their own VLAN-based networks for security, auditing and compliance reasons, with no impact to system performance or scalability.

 

Consistency Group Snapshots allow for safe, consistent snapshots across a set of volumes that represent a single application or set of related applications, ensuring data integrity for complex large-scale application environments.

 

But the best never rest, and our team is already hard at work on our next release — Oxygen — with even more innovation in store for SolidFire customers.

 

With SolidFire’s unique combination of relentless at-scale automated testing and proven non-disruptive upgrades, customers can rest assured that the pace of innovation in the Next Generation Data Center won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Dave Wright

Dave Wright, SolidFire CEO and founder, left Stanford in 1998 to help start GameSpy Industries, a leader in online videogame media, technology, and software. GameSpy merged with IGN Entertainment in 2004 and Dave served as Chief Architect for IGN and led technology integration with FIM / MySpace after IGN was acquired by NewsCorp in 2005. In 2007 Dave founded Jungle Disk, a pioneer and early leader in cloud-based storage and backup solutions for consumers and businesses. Jungle Disk was acquired by leading cloud provider Rackspace in 2008 and Dave worked closely with the Rackspace Cloud division to build a cloud platform supporting tens of thousands of customers. In December 2009 Dave left Rackspace to start SolidFire.

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